Tropical system likely develops in the Gulf in next few days
Jul 11 2019
Forecasters said the weather disturbance is expected to become a tropical depression by Thursday morning, a tropical storm by that night and a hurricane on Friday.
"Once the system is over water, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for tropical cyclone formation", the advisory reads.
Potential storm surge has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Mississippi River, including at New Orleans, through Saturday.
The city of New Orleans encouraged residents to be prepared for heavy rain, though the amounts will be hard to predict until the storm organizes further.
The parish is just southeast of New Orleans and includes numerous city's suburbs. The European Model, which has been more consistent with the track and intensity, brings the storm inland south of Baton Rouge with the greatest impacts east of the ArkLaTex from the east half of Louisiana through much of Mississippi.
Rain, and lots of it, appears likely to be the main threat from the storm. Clogged drains should be reported to 311. This depression will continue slowly moving west through late week across the northern Gulf of Mexico, and should intensify into a tropical storm by Friday.
The Mississippi River is predicted to crest at 20 feet on Saturday, which, as meteorologist Eric Holthaus pointed out, is the height of New Orleans' levees. The heavy rain that created the flooding in New Orleans later tracked to the southwest, prompting an additional flash flood emergency for Jefferson Parish.
"No one should take this storm lightly", Gov. Edwards said.
To help forecasters get a better handle on how organized the storm system is and where it is likely headed, an Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft known as a "hurricane hunter" is scheduled to check out the disturbance Wednesday afternoon.
Tropical systems are occasional visitors to the U.S.in July: The most recent July hurricane to hit the continental US was Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina in 2014, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.
Oil production companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico have also started to enact precautions.
"The most recent July tropical storm landfall was Tropical Storm Emily in Florida in 2017", he said.
The NOAA now believes the storm could intensify to hurricane strength later this week.
Lacy said that such preparations are normal during hurricane season. The system could produce a storm surge and heavy rainfall from Louisiana to the upper Texas coast.